Due to a lack of response from people wishing to participate in this year's hajj, the religious affairs ministry yesterday extended the deadline for registration till April 16, according to a notice issued in this regard.
This is the third time that the government has extended the deadline, as only around 55,000 aspiring pilgrims have so far registered, said officials at the ministry.
Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, many hajj aspirants are confused whether hajj will be held at all this year, several of them told The Daily Star.
Earlier, the religious affairs ministry and Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) said the pilgrims will get back their money if they fail to perform hajj this year due to the spread of coronavirus.
M Sahadat Hossain Taslim, president, HAAB, yesterday told this correspondent that registered hajis will be able to go to Saudi Arabia to perform hajj next year if the annual congregation is not held this year due to the pandemic.
A total of 1,37,198 Bangladeshis are scheduled to perform hajj this year, which is likely to be held on July 31, depending on moon sighting. Of them, 17,198 would perform hajj under government management while the rest are scheduled to make the pilgrimage under HAAB.
Hajj flights are scheduled to start from June 23. On March 14, Saudi Arabia had suspended all international flights for two weeks to contain the spread of coronavirus.
On April 1, the Saudi government urged different countries to delay their hajj plans, following the outbreak.